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Pros: I very much like this drive. Why do we still call it a drive?
I went with the 840 EVO 500GB SSD because I felt the price was competitive, the 840 series as a whole has been getting stellar professional reviews, and, although relatively new, the the EVO itself has gotten stellar professional reviews. Samsung has made a name for itself as a quality SSD maker using its own technology.
Based on a professional review that performed a long-term and intense stress test using an 840 (not the EVO, but same technology), my concerns about the lifespan of an SSD has been put to rest. The test was to determine if the Samsung’s TLC chips had a shorter lifespan compared to the industry standard of the MLC. That’s the reason for the test, but the results are what’s interesting. Using the calculations from the tests, an average consumer can expect 75 years before the chips begin to fail. Under continuous extreme circumstances it will last about 23 years. I’m certain there will be new technology by then, so I don’t plan on having this SSD that long and I’m not going to tip-toe around this drive. I’m going to use and abuse this like I did my old 10,000 rpm hard drive.
I do very much like the Samsung Magician software that manages the drive. It’s polished and user-friendly. I used the one-click OS Optimization feature to apply all of the settings to get the best performance. There are four options for OS optimizations: performance, capacity, reliability, and the advance tab allows you to tweak as you see fit. You can also over-provision using this tool, but since I’ve only used less than 30% of my drive, I’m not going to worry about securing dedicated space for the controller just yet. Another reason why I went with the 500GB drive. I felt it was worth the money to not be constantly concerned with how much space I have left.
The sequential read and write speeds are working as advertised, but I’m having an issue with the random read and writes which I mention in the cons, but I’m confident I can get that worked out.
I read the professional reviews on performance, lifespan, and the new Rapid mode. I encourage you to do the same… or you can take my word for it and hit the add to cart button. Go ahead. I can see you’re so close to clicking the button. Do it! Do it now!
Cons: I had with the random read/write IOPS (see other thoughts) and I attempted to contact Samsung support about an issue by email from their site, but the product selection form doesn’t display any options after the “Memory & Storage” selection. The same goes for chat. I emailed the webmaster reporting the issue, but it turns out you have to call for SSD support. That’s so 90’s and I hate the press 1, 4, 6, 8, 1 again, and enter the 40 alphanumeric serial number. I’m kidding. I haven’t tried the phone system yet. Phone support can be so time consuming.
Overall Review: I had an issue in which I could not enable Rapid mode. The Samsung Magician software showed that I didn’t meet the minimum CPU requirements of 1.0GHz. It was showing that my CPU was 0.8GHz. It turns out my motherboard BIOS was reporting both the max and min of my Haswell CPU speed as 800MHz instead 3500MHZ for max. Once I updated the BIOS, the maximum speed was corrected and the minimum requirements for Rapid mode was met.
I had an issue with achieving the advertised random read and write IOPS. The sequential read and writes performance test exceeded the advertise speed, but the random IOPS were about 30-40% lower than expected. After some forum searching I underestimated the importance of using the right driver. It turns out using the manufacturer’s SATA controller driver instead of Microsoft’s default ACHI driver makes a huge difference. My motherboard’s controller needed the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver to use its full potential. Once I installed that driver, the sequential read/writes went up a little bit, but the IOPS exceeded the advertised speeds by a huge margin. No matter which SSD you go with, I recommend using the motherboard’s recommended SATA controller driver.
I used a popular independent performance testing software to do benchmarking. Using Microsoft’s default ACHI driver, the drive scored on par with comparable SSDs. Using the appropriate Intel RST driver, the SSD exceeding the scores other comparable SSDs. When I enabled Rapid mode, the graph for my EVO dwarfed all of the comparables by a mile. The performance tester isn’t real world and I didn’t really notice the change after Rapid mode. It is already an extremely fast drive with the correct SATA drivers, but the benchmarks sure looked pretty.
I’ve read a few professional reviews that stated the Rapid mode does not make everything run faster. There are a few test scenarios that showed it reduce speed, but these are predefined tests and not real world uses either. The caching requires up to 1GB of RAM which is acceptable and a very slight increase in CPU utilization was noted by the reviews. Keep in mind that this is based on what I’ve read and not what I’ve experienced.
A 3.5” bracket and screws do not come with this package. It contains the SSD and software disc.
I am very happy with this purchase and intend on buying another later. When the time comes to upgrade my wife’s PC, I intend on getting the 1TB version for her. She has so much stuff. I think she catalogs her shoes or something.
Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz LGA 1150 Quad-Core CPU
Corsair Hydro Series H100i CPU Water Cooler
Asus Maximus VI Hero Motherboard
G.SKILL Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 2400 Memory
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 770 TF 2GD5/OC Video Card
Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD
Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold Series 1000W Power Supply
Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Black Case
Pros: Extremely fast boot times using Windows 8.1 as OS.
Samsung's drive utility to set up the fast boot (ready boost) and set Window's settings to gain the best performance / reliability for the drive.
cloned previous SSD to larger format no problem
utility contains all the software to test performance and clone your drives for free.
Overall Review: about 8 seconds to load up Windows is amazing.
Pros: EVO is a top-rated SSD on every website you can find.
Excellent alternative to Sandforce-based drives.
Samsung has very good software that makes this model even better.
Cons: none so far
Overall Review: Great deal when on sale.
Pros: If you don't have an SSD by now you're missing out. I got it for my AMD rig along with a CPU upgrade to the FX-8320 and it is a completely different experience than before. I was using a Phenom II 1055 on a Gigabyte 990FXA motherboard (BIOS rev F9) and with the CPU upgrade and the Samsung 840 Evo my PC is a completely different experience than it was before. Loaded Windows 8.1 on and startup is near instant, as is loading programs. It takes virtually no time at all to go from startup to using your PC with this drive, and on tests it gets blazing fast read and write speeds. Samsung also includes everything but the kitchen sink in addition to the drive you get the transition tools and even case stickers. I have tried OCZ, Samsung, Intel, Sandisk, and Crucial - and Samsung is still the reigning king of SSDs.
Cons: Wish I had sprang for the 250GB model. Doesn't come with a mounting bracket - you are on your own there.
Overall Review: The rig:
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
PSU: Corsair TX 750 V2
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
CPU: AMD FX-8320 @ 4.0 GHz
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
RAM: 16GB Corsair XMS 3 DDR3 1600 MHz
HD1: Samsung 840 Evo
HD2: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition
Pros: FAST! Smoking fast. You honestly cannot appreciate the multitude of speed this thing comes with, or any SSD for that matter, compared to a Hard Drive. Sure, you have USB Thumb drives that are quite fast but nothing like this I assure you. You think the hyperbole surrounding SSDs was more lust than love but it truly is fast. On a current run (the only run I did with their benchmark tests) I got 483 MB/s Reads, 526 MB/s Writes, 46,389 k IOPs and 25,788 K IOPS (higher number is the results on the right hand side of the screen). Those first two approach the max the drive states but IOPs could be higher although honestly who can complain. Magician software is some of the best and easiest software to use. Rapid mode definitely improves from the already stellar performance the drive offers. Came out of the box with the latest firmware according to Samsung Magician software.
Cons: There can never be a perfect piece of hardware and I had a day or two issue with this when I finally installed it. I own a Switch 810 and I actually installed this in the bottom 5.25" bay that is hot swappable (love that tech!). No issues except apparently I couldn't get the drive to format or initialize enough for it to be seen in Windows 8/8.1 X64 Pro. Searched the net for the issues and it is fairly common. So I tried: disabling Internet, turning off firewall/security, using Diskmgmt.msc, quick formatting, secure erase, etc. to no avail. Eventually got it to work which I will explain in other thoughts.
The guide that came with it is simple and tells you what you need to get going but honestly I would like a bit more detail for any errors encountered. Not necessarily a con so much as a "for future reference."
Samsung DATA Migration software seems buggy at best and even has issues updating itself when it asks if you want to update (will download file then throw a few errors. Takes a few tries to get it to go through.)
You have to exclude media (of course) but it would be better if it actually asked you what you wanted to clone before hand. Clonezilla is a free Live Linux based (as well as non-live) cloning and migration software that allows for more granular control. This was honestly the biggest headache because when I first went through doing this it got pretty far along into the cloning procedure (after I copied all information to a backup drive so that it could actually clone and migrate just 121GB of data which I honestly didn't want, just wanted the OS and MBR to be cloned) before it threw up the Defrag error on source drive and blah, blah, blah. In the end it sorted out.
Overall Review: Okay so it boiled down to an issue being (at least in my mind and after changing I installed Windows 8.1 X64 Enterprise and didn't bother with cloning using Samsung Data Migration) the SATA cable used to connect the drive to my ASUS M5A99X-EvO (original version not awesome revision :( ). I was using a short, fluorescent blue SATA cable given to me by a friend a couple years back and apparently it was SATA 1 or 2 (which shouldn't make much of a difference but it does). I swapped that into the Lite On DVD Drive and used one of the included Black and White SATA right angle connectors that came with the ASUS motherboard and the drive installed Windows INSANELY FAST from a DVD!! I honestly swear Windows installed in under 3 minutes and the majority of that time was uncompressing the files. Make sure you use quality, cables (mine didn't come with any) and you shouldn't have issues.
Pros: Top of the heap in SSD's It's fast
Smoking deal with fc4 coupon
Forced me to plan ahead as the size is (for me at least) a little smallish for a boot drive.
Samsung Utility informative and high quality. I needed a little schoolin on SSD's. I've stayed away as prices were really up there till recently.
Cons: 250gb is small for my boot drive
Price per MB is high-you do get what you pay for in this case
Like all SATA drives tiptoe around the connections. I had to give up mounting this on the backside of my haf xm as I was sure I'd snag a cable and break the drive.
Overall Review: it's fast..really fast, but there are some considerations for the fact that you don't want excessive reads/writes on an ssd and the Samsung software suggests you consider forgoing hibernation, indexing and some other disk intensive system functions.
Not so sure how I feel about that right now, but I'm paying attention. Moved my mail storage off to a rhd (rotating hard drive). It's better for my backups now actually.
Like everything else prices will continue to fall and while still at a premium, it's a worthwhile upgrade IF you consider the basic rules.
Catch it on sale and give it a try!
Pros: This SSD is extremely fast. In detailed reviews it's directly competitive with any brands top line SSD's, beating most, and even beats Samsung's Pro line in a few tests.
The real value comes from the long life, though. Samsung SSD's have regularly rated as double and even triple their expected lifespan.
Cons: I'd certainly like it to be cheaper, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth the price. It is.
Overall Review: There are a constantly increasing number of good quality SSD's out there, so I don't want to speak negatively of any particular brand. Do your research. There are cheaper GOOD brands out there, and there are more expensive equivalent brands. This hits the sweet spot. Choose wisely.
Pros: Great price and reliability. Samsungs software is top notch and I encourage you to use it. Set up over provisioning and follow suggestions on what to leave on and what to turn off
Overall Review: Samsung has some of the most reliable SSDs. Not the fastest but there are up there